Gear Review: Sig Sauer Whiskey5 3-15x44 riflescope


Sig Sauer’s Whiskey5 3-15×44 riflescope. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

For years, Sig Sauer has been at the top of the firearms market.  The last couple years, however, have seen the introduction of Sig brand ammunition, suppressors, airguns, and now, optics.  The new Electro-Optics Tango and Whiskey scope lines have eye-appeal and enticing features, but do they do the brand justice? finds out.

Sig Sauer’s Electro-Optics riflescopes


(Photo: Kristin Alberts)Sig Sauer Whiskey5 3-15×44 riflescope with turrets covered. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

While they may take some time to build up a reputation in the optics production line, it looks like Sig Sauer is all-in with their new ventures.  They’ve chosen seasoned leaders for each of their new divisions and are poised to make a run at the best in each rather than just rebranding another company’s products.  Sig may have been blanketing the tactical market with pistols, pistol ammo, reflex sights, and laser grips, but they have not forgotten about rifle shooters and hunters.  While the Tango4 and Tango6 line of riflescopes are purpose built for the tactical shooters, the Whiskey3 and Whiskey5 products are much more hunting-oriented.


Sig Sauer illuminated reticle. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

The graphite-colored anodized scope bodies are instantly recognizable with their black control rings.  The Sig branding on the scope itself is clean and classy as well. Regardless of your choice of lineup, all Sig optics carry the respectable Infinite Guarantee on the scope. That means buyers get an unlimited lifetime guarantee that is fully transferable, does not require a warranty card or receipt, has no time limit, and there’s never a financial charge for repairs.  The only loophole, you could say, is the five year guarantee on electronic components should buyers choose the tritium illuminated reticles.

Features on the Whiskey5 and terminology of Sig Sauer optics


The Whiskey5’s HellFire Reticle is an illuminated system that uses fiber optic technology. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

HDx: Advanced optical systems comprising both High Definition (ED) and High Transmittance (HT) glass for ultra-high resolution, optical performance, and light transmission.

SpectraCoat: Highly efficient, ultra-wide broadband, anti-reflection lens coatings reduce surface reflections to extremely low levels across the entire visible spectrum providing superior light transmission.

LensArmor: Abrasion-resistant lens coatings for extreme durability ensure the lenses on your scope will stay sharp, bright, and clear.

HellFire Reticle: Electronically illuminated reticle system utilizing advanced fiber-optic technology to vary the light intensity of the central aiming point from IR (InfraRed) dim to HellFire bright for daylight illumination, resulting in a bright, defined aiming point for precision shot placement in any conditions.


SIG Ballistic Turret (SBT) matches the ballistics of your shooting system. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

StealthID: Electro-Optics industrial design inspired by our legendary firearms; deflection armor trapezoidal surfacing breaks up the shape and visibility of the optic along with pistol slide serrations and grip checkering to add function to the form of all SIG SAUER electro-optics.

SBT: Perfectly matched to the ballistics of your shooting system, the SIG Ballistic Turret (SBT) is a custom laser-etched elevation dial for your SIG SAUER® Electro-Optics riflescope. Using inputs including bullet specifications, ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity, elevation, and other environmental factors, the SBT system allows for the correct bullet drop compensation and pinpoint accuracy at any range. SBT dials are available on most TANGO and WHISKEY model scopes.

Sig Sauer Whiskey5 Scope 3-15×44 basics


Sig Sauer Whiskey5 atop the Tikka T3x. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

The new Whiskey5 riflescope line features their proprietary HDx optical system for a combination of clarity and low-light performance in a 30mm tube.  Naturally, the “5” in Whiskey5 refers to the 5x optical zoom. Though available with both illuminated and non-illuminated reticles, our test scope has the HellFire fiber-optic illuminated reticle.  The scopes are both fogproof and waterproof, with an impressive IPX-7 rating for complete water immersion up to one meter. All Whiskey optics are offered as second focal plane, so reticle subtensions vary with magnification.

The range of magnifications and features in the Whiskey5 line make them ideal for anything from short to long range hunting rifles, as well as modern sporting rifle platforms.  Those currently available: 1-5×20, 2-10×42, 2.4-12×56, 3-15×44, 3-15×52, and 5-25×52.


Turret detail with illumination squares. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Whiskey5 optics are available with three reticle options, including a standard Quadplex, a lighted HellFire CirclePlex, and our preferred HellFire Quadplex.  Speaking of the reticle, our chosen optic adjusts in quarter-MOA clicks and is lighted with one included CR2032 battery.  We spent many hours with the illumination in operation in all types of light conditions with excellent function and no need to swap batteries.

The visible quality of the glass is outstanding overall, with exceptional clarity through all ranges of magnification.  We found the scope’s controls to be very user-friendly.  In fact, one of the features that sets this optic apart from others on the market is the crafty on-off-on-off rotational controls for setting the intensity of the lighted QuadPlex.  That means your chosen setting is always just a click away — no more spinning the dial through a bunch of intensities before you find what you wanted all along.  The solid square is “on” and the empty square is “off.”  There are nine settings, including an infrared (IR) option for use with IR night vision. Best of all, the illumination works well from daylight to dark and everything in between. The center dot of the QuadPlex, which is what’s lighted, has no glaring halo or shadowing that plagues other optics.


Sig Sauer Whiskey5 3-15×44 riflescope with turrets uncovered. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Eye relief is a generous 3.9 inches, making the optics ideal for heavier recoiling calibers. The scope is not the lightest of its kind at 21.7 ounces, but that weight is spent in well-built components. It has an elevation adjustment range of 70 MOA and a windage range of 45 MOA.

To make things even more appealing, Sig Sauer will send along a free, custom-calibrated Ballistic Turret for your scope.  All you do is provide your caliber, preferred bullet, and load info and they’ll provide a turret set for your ballistics.  Well played, Sig Sauer.


Our qualms with the Whiskey5 riflescope line are few, and may be rectified over time.  Most notably, on a scope line defined by the company as hunting optics, there are no BDC-type holdover-ranging-friendly crosshairs.


Sig Sauer’s Whiskey5 riflescope retails for around a grand. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

While we liked the HellFire QuadPlex on the range and so will the more tactical-turret-adjusting hunter, but those who prefer more old-fashioned holdovers are left to their own devices.  The only other drawback is cost, and yes, we fully realize that high quality comes with a price tag. But with an MSRP of $1199.99 and real world prices hovering around a grand, the Whiskey5 we tested is a solid, feature-filled scope but still a steep buy for all but the deep-pocket hunters.  We were, however, quite impressed with the clarity, looks, operation, build, and warranty of the Whiskey5 and will definitely be keeping an eye on the Electro Optics factory over at Sig Sauer.

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